The Beal Joker is the original triple rated rope, meaning it has been tested and passed the UIAA tests for a single, half and twin rope. Essentially this means that it's an incredibly versatile rope suitable for high level sport or wall use, as a scrambling, ski touring and alpine rope or as a trad climbing half rope.
Available in 35m for use a confidence rope, scrambling or wall rope and in 50m or 60m for mountaineering and high level sport the Joker really can be used for anything.
It's available with Beal's Dry Cover or Golden Dry coatings. These treatments prevent the rope from absorbing almost any water, protect from dirt, heat and abrasion. The Dry Cover is only added to the sheath which gives the rope some additional protection and increases its longevity, but it isn't ideal for prolonged use in wet conditions. The Golden Dry cover applies the treatment to the sheath and the core ensuring the rope will not freeze when used for winter and ice climbing and it preventing it getting really heavy if it gets wet, it also lasts much longer than the Dry Cover which can rub off over time.
|Single, ½ & Twin||9.1mm||Dry Cover or Golden Dry||5 - 6||24 - 26||>25||8.2kN||5.8kN||9.3kN||52g|
Trainee British Mountain Guide James Clapham Reviews the Beal Joker
The original triple rated rope is up against stiff competition now from several others. It isn't the lightest (we're talking a few grams here) but the extra weight means the rope is a touch thicker and in my experience more durable. This is my go-to rope for most situations and gets used on UK rock, Scotland, Alpine ridges and even as a single on Alpine North Faces. The Golden dry treatment is in a league of its own and significantly better than the dry cover option. If using this rope in Scotland or the mountains this makes a huge difference.
The only place it isn't 100% ideal is as a single sport rope where some care is needed with catching falls as it is quite a thin and slick rope. Also Beal's factory coiling is very tight and it takes a few uses to get the rope to soften up and start behaving itself.
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I've been buying joker ropes for years now. This is my go to rope for guiding. These are the whole ropes I like to use when the rucksac is being carried a significant distance uphill, and I can't carry half ropes. These ropes can obviously be used as half ropes, but I use them almost exclusively as single ropes, and buy dedicated half ropes for that purpose. I like the option of getting dry ropes or golden dry. For winter the golden dry is almost compulsory. With time the diameter of the rope does increase - but this is often when I retire the ropes.
I recently bought a 50m Beal Joker for the flexibility of having a single rope that's light to carry for classic climbs on long mountain days ... but is also flexible to use with one of my 1/2 rope. Worked great in both situations, not had a problem with lack of friction in the belay devices I've used; Grivel Master Pro and BD ATC. I like it so much I'm just about to buy another 35m one for scrambling and going super-light. Would definitely recommend it.
I purchased his rope for ice climbing and for some Scottish winter climbing so it was important that the dry treatment worked. I took it out to the local crag at the weekend, firstly I was amazed at the weight especially compared to my 50m 10.2mm rope. Secondly how easy it was to manage almost straight away and how well it ran through my ATC guide. Most of all however though I was delighted with the dry treatment. The rope ended up in a puddle and was hydrophobic enough that it virtually floated on the water and was bone dry when pulled out. Perfect for weight conscious ice/winter climbers.
What a great rope - I read all the reviews before buying this and agree that the only thing I can find wrong with it is that it has a tendency to kink when using it on the climbing wall - this is easily sorted out by pulling it through halfway through a session. It handles really well although as with any small diameter rope you can burn you hand if you let it run too freely. The middle is clearly marked. The free rope bag is a bonus! I am off to Spain soon and the low weight and diameter mean more space for other gear in my bag!
What an item, its outstanding. We recently bought 8 of these for work and they have really been punished but have stood up strong. They are so universal and extremely light! The only downside I have found is that the coating/outer suffered very quickly on limestone where other ropes didn’t appear to have taken as much abuse, but in their defence these are very supple!
I'll now be buying some for personal use having used them extensively through work!
The joker is a diverse rope which can be used in almost any situation. I bought one for this reason and have not yet been let down as a half or single rope. It has been superb and to date I have not found it to be a problem with any of the belay devices which have been used on it.
The only downside to these ropes is they tend to kink and twist but with correct care and decent rope work this should not be a problem.
We've labelled the 35m Joker "the Magic Rope" for our guiding work in the Cuillin. There isn't an obstacle on the Ridge that can't be overcome travelling either south to north or vice versa. Not carrying excess weight every day is very important to me and should be for anyone planning a Cuillin Ridge attempt.
The sheath lasts well despite harsh treatment when lowering and does not absorb water to a silly extent even when the dry-treatment has worn away. Handling is always excellent and kinking always stops within one or 2 outings.
Mike Lates, Skye Guides & author of SMC Cuillin Guidebook.
I purchased these ropes as they sounded like the only answer to all possible circumstances, and they have proven to be just that.I have a pair of 60m Golden Dry Beal Jokers.
Whether at the wall, a single pitch crag, or a long day’s multi pitch excursion, as a single, double or half rope system they exceed with their lightness and slick movement. In winter or at sea cliffs the Golden Dry treatment lives up to his name and provides immense peace of mind.
They do seem to have an ability to kink and get twisted. However, if initially uncoiled in accordance to the instructions and regularly paid-out fully this is not a cause for concern. Beal recommend their use with a Black Diamond ATC device, this does seem to work a lot smoother than some other devices. However, I use a Petzl Reverso (mark 2) and find this good. The ropes are not compatible with the Petzl Gri Gri, although they do work with similar (heavier and more expensive) devices like the Edlerid Eddie.
All in all, these are great ropes for any and every circumstance! So much so I have recently purchased the 35m version for Hill / Mountain Walking work.
I bought the 35m joker for alpine use. I found it very light and easy to use. It didn’t seem to get wet in snow or rain which was great. It is quite a hard rope and did tend to be a bit kinky! Overall I would recommend. It is great to have such a light weight single rope.
I bought a 70m Joker (drycover), for the extra 10m it has over my Mammut Eiger, it still comes in at 70g lighter. Hardly noticeable, but still, can't argue with that. It's allowed me to link together pitches on a couple climbs now and do raps with only one rope instead of carrying up another solely for rapping. It hasn't taken a fall yet and I'm only using it where one is unlikely to since it's not rated to take as many falls as a fatter rope.
As for feeding, I use a Black Diamond ATC guide with this rope and it feeds smoothly through the device. My partner was using the standard ATC and had no complaints either. In the event of a fall though, I'd imagine it would have had less friction than the ATC guide would have.
It coils and flakes easily as well. Hopefully with some love, this thing will last me several seasons out here in Germany.
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